Statement by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva at the Conclusion of a Meeting with UNECA and African Ministers of Finance and Central Bank Governors on the Impact of the Crisis in Ukraine

March 10, 2022

Washington, DC: Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) met yesterday with African Ministers of Finance, African central bank governors, and representatives from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to discuss the impact of the crisis in Ukraine.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Ms. Georgieva made the following statement:

“The war in Ukraine is devastating the lives of millions of people and severely affecting the Ukrainian economy. The war and the unprecedented sanctions imposed on Russia are having far-reaching consequences. They come at a delicate time for Africa.

Just as the global economy and the continent are beginning to recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, this new crisis threatens to undo some of that progress. We discussed how to sustain Africa’s recovery—already lagging other regions— despite significant new obstacles.

Africa is particularly vulnerable to impacts from the Ukraine war through four main channels—increased food prices, higher fuel prices, lower tourism revenues, and potentially more difficulty accessing international capital markets.

This is a critical moment for the international community and policymakers to come together, and I was very encouraged by the strong interest from African policymakers in continuing our dialogue on policy responses. I noted, in particular, significant concerns about the limited domestic policy space to sustainably address the ongoing crises.

Redoubling efforts to advance reforms that further promote resilience is a priority for many countries. At this difficult moment, the Fund stands ready to help African countries address the repercussions of the war, and to help design and implement reforms through our policy advice, capacity development, and lending. Recent reforms to the Fund’s lending toolkit provide greater flexibility to help meet financing needs.

I was also pleased by the ongoing strong interest from African countries in the proposed Resilience and Sustainability Trust, which we plan to have fully operational by the end of this year.”

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